Larry Diamond

Senior Fellow
Awards and Honors:
Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award
(2007)
Richard W. Lyman Award
(2013)
Kenneth M. Cuthbertson Award
(2016)
Biography: 

Larry Diamond is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. He also chairs the Hoover Institution Project on Taiwan in the Indo-Pacific Region and is the principal investigator of the Global Digital Policy Incubator, part of Stanford’s Cyber Policy Center. For more than six years, he directed FSI’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, where he now leads its Program on Arab Reform and Democracy. During 2017–18, he cochaired, with Orville Schell, a working group formed of researchers from Hoover and from the Asia Society Center on US-China Relations, culminating in the report China’s Influence and American Interests: Promoting Constructing Vigilance (published by the Hoover Institution Press in 2019). He is the founding coeditor of the Journal of Democracy and also serves as senior consultant at the International Forum for Democratic Studies of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Diamond’s research focuses on democratic trends and conditions around the world and on policies and reforms to defend and advance democracy. He is currently writing and speaking about the deepening recession of freedom and democracy in the world in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to reverse it. He also leads a continuing Hoover project to track China’s “sharp power” projection around the world.  His latest book, Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, analyzes the challenges confronting liberal democracy in the United States and around the world at this potential “hinge in history,” and offers an agenda for strengthening and defending democracy at home and abroad. A paperback edition of the book with a new preface was released by Penguin in April 2020. 

Diamond is professor by courtesy of Political Science and Sociology at Stanford University, where he teaches courses on democracy and American foreign policy. He is currently offering Comparative Democratic Development as a massive open online course (MOOC) on the edX platform.  And he is working on a textbook that will eventually accompany the course.

During 2002–03, Diamond served as a consultant to the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and was a contributing author of its report Foreign Aid in the National Interest. He has also advised and lectured to universities and think tanks around the world, and to the World Bank, the United Nations, the State Department, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies dealing with governance and development. During the first three months of 2004, Diamond served as a senior adviser on governance to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad. His 2005 book, Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq, was one of the first books to critically analyze America's postwar engagement in Iraq.

Diamond’s other books include In Search of Democracy (2016), The Spirit of Democracy (2008), Developing Democracy: Toward Consolidation (1999), Promoting Democracy in the 1990s (1995), and Class, Ethnicity, and Democracy in Nigeria (1989). He has also edited or coedited some fifty books on democratic development around the world. Among them are Democracy in Decline? (2016); Democratization and Authoritarianism in the Arab World (2014); Will China Democratize? (2013); and Liberation Technology: Social Media and the Struggle for Democracy (2012), all edited with Marc F. Plattner; and Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran (2015), with Abbas Milani. With Juan J. Linz and Seymour Martin Lipset he edited the four-volume series Democracy in Developing Countries (1988–89), which helped to shape a new generation of comparative study of democratic development.

Diamond writes a monthly column for the American Interest and frequently writes, speaks, and consults about how to defend and reform liberal democracy. He is a prominent advocate of reforms—particularly vote by mail and ranked-choice voting—to strengthen American democracy.

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Recent Commentary

Hong Kong Umbrella Revolution Collection, Box 2, Hoover Institution Archives
Featured

Why President Trump Must Keep Speaking Out On Hong Kong

by Larry Diamondvia The Hill
Monday, August 19, 2019

Since June 9, Hong Kong—one of the world’s most vibrant commercial and cultural centers—has been repeatedly paralyzed by mass demonstrations to defend that city’s dwindling freedoms. The protests quickly escalated, from hundreds of thousands of people in the streets to an estimated turnout of two million (over a quarter of the entire population), and they have evolved and persisted for over two fraught months.

In the News

Trump Has Good Chance Of Winning Again

quoting Larry Diamondvia The Straits Times
Monday, August 12, 2019

[Subscription Required] US President Donald Trump may well lose the popular vote again in 2020, and yet win the presidency, contends Stanford Professor Larry Diamond, whose latest book is ominously titled Ill Winds.

In the News

Trump Has Good Chance Of Winning Again: Democracy Guru Larry Diamond

featuring Larry Diamondvia The Straits Times
Friday, August 9, 2019

[Subscription Required] President Donald Trump may well lose the popular vote again in 2020, and yet win the presidency, contends Stanford professor Larry Diamond, whose latest book is ominously titled Ill Winds.

Books

China's Influence and American Interests

by Larry Diamond, Orville Schellvia Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, August 1, 2019

While Americans are generally aware of China’s ambitions as a global economic and military superpower, few understand just how deeply and assertively that country has already sought to influence American society.

Featured

Playing With Fire On Election Security

by Larry Diamondvia The American Interest
Friday, July 26, 2019

If one foreign power continues to shred, on an ever-more daring basis, the integrity and inviolability of our electoral process, other foreign powers will draw lessons and follow. And they won’t all be pitching in on the Republican side.

In the News

Review: How China Is Shaping California Skylines And American Democracy

featuring Larry Diamondvia Datebook (San Fransisco Chronicle)
Monday, July 22, 2019

Larry Diamond has studied democracy for 40 years. He’s seen governments in every conceivable state of health, and he’s not easily alarmed.

Interviews

The Lawfare Podcast: Larry Diamond On 'Ill Winds'

interview with Larry Diamondvia Lawfare
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses his book Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency, in which he charts the rise of illiberal leaders across six continents; the growing influence of China and Russia; and how the election of Donald Trump has affected all of this. Diamond argues that, to curb rising despotism, the United States must reclaim its role as an ardent defender of global democracy. 

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Tides of Humanity

by Larry Diamondvia Hoover Digest
Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Millions of people seek better lives by crossing borders, but many of those new lands are ill-prepared to receive them—or hostile toward them. But there are ways to deal with the demographic flood intelligently and humanely.

Interviews

Larry Diamond: Challenges To Liberal Democracy

interview with Larry Diamondvia Iowa Public Radio
Monday, June 24, 2019

Hoover Institution fellow Larry Diamond discusses the state of democracy in the US and the global effects of eroding democratic values. 

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